Decal Installation

3M Decal Installation Video

Prepare for decal installation by ensuring surface area on vehicle is clean and dry and free from any dirt, dust, or loose paint.

There are two methods for applying decals, either of which can be used based on the size of decal and ease of application.

Apply Entire Decal at Once

  1. Remove the entire liner from the decal.

  2. Use your thumb to gently tack the top edge of the decal in place.

  3. Smooth wrinkles and bubbles out the decal using a firm piece of plastic (for example, a credit card) to apply pressure to the decal in overlapping stroke. 
    • Always start in the center of the decal and move towards the edges.  
    • Always pull the plastic applicator rather than push. Pushing can stretch the decal.

Apply Decal Using the Hinge Method

  1. Position the decal.
  2. Use strips of masking tape along to top of the decal to hold in place.

  3. Apply a strip of masking tape horizontally across the top of the graphic, creating the hinge.

  4. Raise the decal up over the top of the hinge and peel the liner back a few inches starting from the top of the decal.
    • Note: The entire liner may be removed at this time, if desired. However, leaving the liner in place just prior to smoothing makes application more controllable, keeps the adhesive clean, and reduces the possibility of stretching the film.

  5. Using care not to stretch the decal, hold the decal near bottom center and begin smoothing at the top center. Use firm pressure on the plastic applicator and overlapping strokes. 
    • Smooth the graphic beginning at the center of the tape hinge and working outward to the closest edge.
    • Always pull the plastic applicator rather than push.  Pushing can stretch the decal.

  6. Once that section of the decal has been smoothed down, use two hands to peel back the liner a few more inches.

  7. Continue smoothing the decal using the technique described above.

  8. Continue to gradually remove the liner and smooth out until the entire decal is applied.

  9. Remove the tape hinge and smooth out the top edge.

Once the decal has been applied you may be required to complete some finishing steps.

Removing Air Bubbles

  1. Puncture the bubble at one end with a pin.  Do NOT use a razor blade or knife.

  2. Press out the entrapped air by moving your thumb toward the puncture.
  3. Smooth over any resulting wrinkles.

Cutting Around Bolts
Applying the decal over raised areas, such as bolts, causes low to moderate tenting over the area, which traps air that must be removed.

  1. Use a razor or sharp knife to cut an X through the decal directly over the bolt.

  2. Smooth the decal down around the bolt with the plastic applicator.

  3. Carefully cut the excess decal around the bolt.